Musicians’ family members voice their grievances


KARACHI: Sindh government should take more practical steps for the preservation and promotion of art and music in the country.

It should extend maximum support and ownership especially to those who had devoted their lives and their families only to keep alive singing and music as a heritage from their ancestors.

Due to the lack of support and facilitation, many singers from famous classical and folk singers’ families, including those from Ustad Manzoor Ali Khan and Ustad Fateh Ali Khan’s family were frustrated and depressed, said folk singer Iqrar Waheed Ali, the son of late Ustad Waheed Ali Khan while talking to APP.

He cited the example of two members of his family, Ustad Rajab Ali Khan and Roshan Abbas Khan, who had left the country out of frustration and were now successfully running their music academy in London.

Another son of the late Ustad Waheed Ali Khan, Lateef Waheed Ali had won the top medal award in Asia Super Star Music Competition which was held in Delhi. He said that fifty singers, classical and semi classical were selected for the final round of the competition out of thousands of singers gathered in the Indian capital city from all over the Asia.

These singer brothers were the seventh generation of the great artists’ family with its first member being Ustad Hadu Hasu Khan who was student of Mian Tansen. There was a long list of famous singers from this family which included Baday Khan Saheb, Ustad Miraan Bakhsh Khan, Ustad Piyaro Ali Khan, Ustad Umeed Ali Khan, Ustad Ghulam Rasool Khan, Ustad Manzoor Ali Khan, Ustad Fateh Ali Khan, Ustad Hameed Ali Khan, Ustad Waheed Ali Khan, Ustad Rajab Ali Khan, Roshan Abbas Khan, Iqrar Waheed Ali and Master Lateef Waheed Ali.

Iqrar Waheed Ali regretted that the government, especially the Sindh Culture Department appeared least interested to promote singers and musicians in the province.

He complained that the culture department neglected many senior and reputed singers in most of the government sponsored cultural programmes in and outside the country.

He said that the provincial government should provide logistics, financial support and facilitation for the promotion of art and also take care of the artists’ families by making good arrangement for their livelihood including giving government jobs to at least one deserving family member.

He maintained that many artists and their families were living very tough lives because of low income from their profession and non-availability of an alternative source of earning. It had also very become difficult for them to provide education to their children.

For feeding their families, senior and popular singers had to perform at very small and low profile programmes, he mentioned.

He was of the view that most officials in Sindh Culture Department knew very little about art and culture. It would be proper to appoint on merit the educated children of singers, literary figures and poets in this department so that they could better play their role for the progress of the country, he added.

Master Iqrar Waheed Ali sought financial and logistic support from the government to observe the 19th death anniversary of his father Ustad Waheed Ali Khan on April 7, in Hyderabad.

“At least I should be exempted from the charges for Mumtaz Mirza Memorial Auditorium in Qasimabad (Hyderabad) for holding my father’s death anniversary programme,” he appealed to the Sindh government.

He said that many famous singers, poets and literary figures would be invited to perform and speak on the personality of his father Ustad Waheed Ali Khan.

Master Iqrar Waheed Ali informed that he wanted to establish a musical academy in his father’s name in Hyderabad for the promotion of art.

He demanded that his father, who earned a big name in and outside the country as a classical singer, be honoured with the presidential award.

He appealed to Sindh Governor Muhammad Zubair to play his role in getting the presidential award for his father.